License[s] Required to Become Property Manager?

9 Replies

Hello all, 

I'd like to know what license or licenses it takes to become a property manager in Virginia and Tennessee. The markets I would like to work would be the Tri-Cities area of Virginia and Tennessee (Bristol, Kingsport, Johnson City, also including Abingdon VA).

Due to the commercial nature of Google search results, I've read conflicting info from "exam prep" companies offering to do X, Y & Z while being rather opaque with what classes need to be taken, exams passed, etc. 

So if someone can clearly state: 

1) what classes am I required to take? 

2) where I can take those classes (preferably online)? 

3) what exams I need to pass? 

Thanks in advance, 


Private emails via colleague requests are also acceptable. 

I would look up your state real estate licensing department. I'm not sure what the laws are there. Many years ago in Maryland you didn't need to be licensed at all to be a property manager. Here in Arizona, you must be a licensed Realtor, and your broker must approve you to work in property management.


Regarding your TN license, you will need to take the 60-hour course (Real Estate Principles) as well as the 30-hour course (Course for New Affiliates), and pass the Affiliate Broker's license exam. At that point you can hold your license with a principal broker and perform PM duties under their firm. I am only licensed in TN, not VA, but my understanding is that VA only requires 60 hours of classroom work.

The TN courses can be taken online but I'm not sure about VA.

@Account Closed

Yes, you can take the pre-licensing courses online. 

As for the best provider(s) for the online format, I cannot speak from personal experience but I've heard from many new agents say that TREES (Tennessee Real Estate Educational Systems) was well worth the money.

@Account Closed  Greetings from the other side of Virginia. :) 

I'm a real estate broker in Virginia and DC.  

The easiest way to get your license classes done, online in VA is to take Moseley Real Estate classes. I recommend them for anyone that doesn't want to sit through the classroom hours. They are fairly comprehensive and you can purchase books as well, to help cover all the material. Once you have your license, you'll also have to take quite a few additional classes in your first year. These can also be done online through Moseley.
Hope that helps. 

@Account Closed

In VA you have to be a licensed RE salesperson to perform property management for others. An active licensed RE salesperson must be associated with a broker who takes responsibility for everything they do, so you will have to find a broker to "hang your hat with", for which they will more than likely require some type of compensation.

To become a licensed RE Salesperson you must complete a 60 hour state approved course. Their is a list of state approved courses on the VA DPOR website. Or it may be the VREB website, but I believe it is the DPOR. There are many online options. Personally I recently finished the course from It only cost $169 which is on the lower end of what you can expect to pay for an online course. Once you complete the 60-hour course you will then have to sit for the state exam, which is another $60. There are other wickets that you need to hit but they are all covered in detail in your training.

I still have to take the final exam from the 60-hour course which must be proctored. I am getting it proctored at the local public library. Then I will sit for the state exam. I will hold off recommending the course I took until then. I have taken a lot of courses in my time and this one appears to stack up well but if I get smoked on the state exam I obviously wouldn't recommend it. 

P.S. I don't know the details but I do know that if you hold a license in another state you may be able to get them to waive the requirement to pass the national portion of the test. So you would only have to take and pass the VA portion. So you may want to look into getting your license wherever it is easier and then applying for reciprocity or waiving some of the requirements in the other state. Someone else will have to comment further on that.


To the best of my knowledge, you do not have to be licensed to be a property manager of your own properties. Some localities may require your properties to meet certain criteria to house people as Tenants. That is the protocol here in Roanoke Virginia, which is about 3 hours from Abington VA.

I'd encourage you to check local ordinances, but generally you can manage your own properties without any licensure. If you're looking to manage others, I suspect you need a real estate salesperson license.

Even if you're just looking for yourself, I'd encourage you to take some courses/attend trainings you can find.  Many laws e.g. nondiscrimination in housing, lead paint requirements, apply to managers of their own properties, and mistakes can be costly. In St Louis, MO I found Tower Grove Neighborhoods CDC landlord trainings very helpful to learn more about the current law.

I too have thought about this.  @EdwardB is correct for the Virginia requirements.  Additionally, if you want to go out on your own in Virginia, you have to be a broker.  To be a broker you have to be a full time sales agent for 36 months straight.  So yes, Virginia is a tough place to start a PM company.